• Ireland will face England in the deciding match of the Girls’ Home Internationals at Little Aston.
• Both teams have 100% records over Wales and Scotland, who will battle it out for 3rd and 4th place.
Holders Ireland, will face hosts, England, in the deciding match at this year’s Girls’ Home Internationals played at Little Aston Golf Club near Birmingham.
The Irish head into the showdown with a one hundred percent record after beating Scotland 6-3 and Wales 5 ½ -3 ½, while England also have two wins out of two, having beaten Wales 8-1 on the opening day and Scotland 7-2 24 hours later.
While Ireland and England battle it out for first place, the Scots and the Welsh play each other to determine 3rd and 4th. There is still much at stake, for all four sides in the annual competition.
The Irish won the morning foursomes 2-1 but any idea they would run away with it was dispelled when Lauren Walsh had to recover from three down early on to earn a halve against Wales’ Ffion Vineall in the top match. Beth Coulter and Rachel Thompson then won points for the Irish with victories over Ffion Tynan and Caitlin Evans-Brand but Lea-Anne Bramwell got one for the Welsh with a one hole victory over Emma Forbes. Sara Byrne and Valerie Clancy sealed things with 2&I wins over Carys Worby and Lucy Jones.
“It’s absolutely brilliant because that was tough,” said Irish captain Gemma Butler. “The Welsh girls put it up to us. They are a great young team but one of our girls, Lauren (Walsh) was three down in the first match and got it back to all square and that was the turning point.
“The news about that fightback spread and the girls at the back hung on.
“Now we’ve got England,” she added. “We met England last year and did well but this year they are very strong and we know we have to go in with our chins up and be ready.
“We’re pretty strong too. I think we’re proving ourselves and I like to think we can do that tomorrow too. We’ll get them to bed early tonight and all going well we’ll put up a battle tomorrow.”
England have won the title every year between 2008 and 2015 and they now have a chance to begin a new run after a comprehensive victory over the Scots.
The English went into lunch with a 2-1 lead after the morning foursomes and quickly secured three more points in the singles when Hollie Muse beat Hazel MacGarvie 4&2, Lily May Humphreys beat Jillian Farrell 4&3 and Emily Price secured a 5&3 victory over Hannah Darling. Jasmine MacIntosh gave the Scots some brief cause for celebration when she beat Martha Lewis 2&1 but Hannah Screen and Samantha Fuller wrapped up the points with victories over Kirsty Brodie and Molly Richmond.
The 5-1 scoreline means the English girls have dropped just one point out of 12 in their two singles series to date having beaten Wales 6-0 in that format the previous day.
“I’m delighted with the girls,” said English team captain Janet Melville. “We got off to a good start this afternoon in the first three games. The last few were tighter but they played well.
“It’s been a good couple of days but we know we will have to play well to beat Ireland tomorrow. It’s going to be tough but we know what we have to do.”
Melville confirmed that Amelia Williamson from Royal Cromer has had to return home after contracting gastroenteritis on the eve of the tournament. “It’s a shame for Amelia but there was nothing else we could do,” she said. “It’s tough on the other girls knowing we have no back-up but it does make it easier for me not having to tell someone they are not playing. That’s definitely the worst part of the job.”